nablopomo day 9: great moments in recognition
It is sad. And it is true. And every time even a drop of recognition has come my way, I have gnawed on the bone of it and dragged the bone around and knitted little sweaters for it to this very day.
Today has been glory-free so far. So let's review, let's pull out a few old bones in their little colorful pullovers and admire them. Who's pretty?! Who's a pretty little bone?! You are!
*I am in third grade. We are going to be having some kind of class picnic or class party or something. Something is going to happen where we eat cool food. A boy who is universally considered irritating is absent today. I call out to the class in a fit of verve, "Guess what ______ ________ is going to be eating today?! Get this: burnt toast!" And the class erupts into appreciative laughter. Maybe even cheers! (Maybe not cheers.) But, oh, man! I set it up and drove it home! Boo-ya.
*1982. Eighth grade. Yearbook signing time. I have been working some fashion-forward looks this year. Mini skirts and headbands and leg 0'mutton sleeves. We pass the yearbooks around Spanish class. The little dude I have a crush on writes, "You're pretty cool for an 8th grader. Love, ______ P.S. The mini skirts are pimp." THE MINI SKIRTS ARE PIMP. OMG.
*College. After my final, extra fall semester, I come back in the spring for the Drama Banquet. (I was a drama major. Yes.) (Drama. Drama! It's such a funny word for a major. I'm majoring in DRAMA! Oh, mercy! You would not BELIEVE what happened in class. I don't know where to START. I'm MORtally EXHAUSTED. ) Anyway. My fingers have been crossed, and it happens. I win Best Actress - it's a split between me and my friend Sheila. But we are awarded little silver bracelets with our names engraved on them. Harper Joy Theater. Best Actress. 1990-1991. Tina Kunz. And our names go up on a plaque in the theater. I feel like I have won an Academy Award. (Which is just as well, that I feel that way. Because the actual feeling of winning an Oscar is going to remain shrouded in mystery until I die. Unless I bust out a geriatric movie career that sets the world on fire. ) In the few years that follow, I look at the little bracelet hanging on the doorknob or lounging in a drawer and it looks to me like a little gold man and I wonder how I can casually work it into conversation that I am an award-winning actress.
*The Blue Mountains of Australia, 2004. We're living at a friend's house. Three little girls live next door. The first time they come to say hello to me, I paint their faces on the back porch. They can't believe their good fortune, that I'm doing this. The youngest one, Megan, says to me with awe, "You're the best lady I've ever seen." This is the least tough crowd I've ever played.